Sunday, December 16, 2012

May Peace Be With You

With one week to go until Christmas, Haultain families have a busy few days ahead! 

Tuesday, 9am: dress rehearsal for the school concert
Wednesday, 7pm: Christmas Concert (students need to be in their classrooms by 6:45pm.)
Thursday, 9am: parents are invited to attend a Christmas carol session in the gym. 
Friday: no school, winter break begins
Tuesday, January 8th: classes start up 

It is certainly a stressful time of year for parents.  I found an article from Parent Magazine that offers steps to help avoid the holiday stresses.  Naomi Rand offers ten tips to simplify things so you can get back to the spiritual heart of the season. 

Read helpful tips for a less stressful holiday here.

With sincere and heartfelt thoughts for the community at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, here are a few comforting quotes I found:

"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."
Aristotle Onassis

"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."
Joseph Campbell

"If it were not for hopes, the heart would break."
Thomas Fuller

"Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit."
Bern Williams

Have a peaceful, safe and happy holiday with your children. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Braid: Dealing with 62 school boards a scary prospect

If the breakdown in provincial talks with teachers makes you think of the great strike of 2002, try to stop.

That was awful. It must not happen again.

Teachers in more than 20 boards walked out in rolling strikes that escalated across the province. Right from the start, up to a quarter million kids were without classes.

There was chaos for three weeks until the province declared a public emergency and ordered teachers back to work.

Now, the Alberta Teachers’ Association says it’s abandoning talks with the province, sending union locals into direct bargaining with 62 school boards.

Council and Association Meeting Tonight

... please join us at 6:30 tonight in the library at Haultain for our December Council and Association meetings. We'll be holding our "Council Performance Review", and running over the Association's financial statement.

This is a perfect chance to attend, meet new parents, and share your concerns or ask questions to our school administration.

Alberta teachers go back to local bargaining

(From the CBC website) 

Teacher contracts will now be negotiated with local school boards after talks between the Alberta Teachers' Association, the Alberta School Boards Association and the province failed to reach a provincewide collective agreement.

ATA president Carol Henderson said the decision to end negotiations came after the union's provincial executive council rejected the latest offer from Education Minister Jeff Johnson, which contained only minor changes to the last one.
The decision means teachers will now negotiate contracts with each of the 62 school boards in the province.

"Actually, in some ways, it's very good because boards have their own concerns, teachers have their own concerns in different jurisdictions and they can talk about those issues at the table," Henderson said.

The last five-year provincial agreement where Alberta took over the unfunded liability in the teachers pension plan was an anomaly. Teachers usually bargain with local boards, Henderson said.

The ATA was proposing a four-year deal with wage freezes in the first two years, a one per cent hike in the third year and three per cent raise in year four.
Workload was a sticking point in the talks. The ATA wanted a cap on the hours teachers work, a proposal Johnson rejected last month.
The last contract expired in August.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

From Karen Drummond, Communications Advisor for the CBE:

Making school councils the best they can be
The Board of Trustees initiated some changes to how CBE school councils operate this year. This was part of an effort to strengthen the Board’s connection to school councils, and is meant to serve as a starting point for improvement. Some of the key changes are as follows:
§ the creation of the “council of school councils”;
§ a different approach to system-wide and area meetings with school councils;
§ the development of the 2012-13 school council handbook;
§ more opportunities to connect with the Board of Trustees; and
§ a new date and process for submitting school council annual reports.
Another significant change is less emphasis on the key communicator role. That does not mean the role has been eliminated. What it means is that CBE administration now needs to examine how the role functions in light of these changes.

School council survey results posted
An online survey was circulated to gather information about school councils early in the school year. The survey was open Sept. 28 to Oct. 18. There were 49 people who started the survey and of those, 42 who completed all questions on the survey. Another school council survey will be done closer to the end of the school year to compare perceptions and opinions.

Parents advised about possible bus delays
Our school bus carriers are currently experiencing a shortage of school bus drivers. While the carriers are working hard to recruit new drivers, this shortage of drivers combined with winter weather conditions can cause delays for some school bus routes.

Grade 4-12 students to complete Tell Them From Me survey
Beginning this December, an online school survey calledTell Them From Me (TTFM) will allow students in Grades 4-12 to give their anonymous input into school improvement initiatives.

Kindergarten registration begins Jan. 14
Kindergarten registration for the 2013-14 school year begins on Jan. 14.

Buy tickets for a night with the Hitmen Jan. 18
CBE students, staff and their families can buy discounted tickets to the Hitmen game Jan. 18. A portion of all ticket purchases will support the Fuel for School Breakfast Program.

School councils eligible for grants from The Calgary Foundation
There are upcoming deadlines of Jan. 3 and Feb. 18 to apply for Neighbour Grants.

To apply for Stepping Stones grants, you can apply by midnight of the first day of every month.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Getting the Right Help

From Calgary's Child Magazine:

"This is often the time of year when parents seek help for a struggling child because by this time, teachers and parents are becoming aware of a child's academic, social and emotional struggles. It is important to seek help promptly in order to avoid a child falling even further behind in the challenging area.

It can be confusing to try to figure out the exact problem(s) affecting your child's success because in some situations, different underlying concerns can produce similar academic or emotional responses. It is important to find the true underlying cause of your child's struggles as soon as possible so you can provide the best intervention as soon as possible. Therefore, I offer you a roadmap so that you will know which steps to take based upon the observed difficulties."

Read the full article here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book an Interview

The booking system is open now for your parent/teacher interviews for Thursday/Friday this week.  Click here to pick your time and day. If you have problems with the login or the system booking, call Cindy at the school (403.777.6860).